If you have ever driven the road to Hana, Maui, then you can relate to what our journey is like. The road to Hana has 617 turns and 56 one-lane bridges. If you have driven it for the first time, chances are you felt a constant tension as you navigated the narrow road. The right turns are blind turns that hug the mountainside and sometimes you were met with an oncoming car. It was difficult to enjoy the tropical scenery that your passengers raved about when you were transfixed on survival.

That is how this journey with Jasmine has been. I speak with her nurses twice a day, and before each phone call or visit, I feel an underlying tension like going around a blind turn. Sometimes the road is clear and other times there is an unexpected encounter—disappointment, a setback, or uncertainty.

Walking by faith does not negate being human. It doesn’t mean being delusional or living in denial. It means having the courage to overcome those encounters by trusting in a loving, compassionate, and all-powerful God who imparts wisdom and strength to move forward at every turn.

Those turns force you to remain vigilant, but they are not the only thing along the road. Remember the bridges? There are times when you just need to park, get out of the vehicle, and stand on the bridge to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation—waterfalls, rock formations, or lush green forests. Those times are relaxing and refreshing. Standing on a bridge is like pausing to reflect upon the beauty of people on their knees for Jasmine, to read messages of encouragement and support, to be still and spend time with Abba Father, or to receive a phone call and hear, “You are not alone. We’re with you.”

If this journey is like the road to Hana with its 617 turns, then we are probably around turn 37. I am not delusional; there is a long road, ahead. Thank God for the bridges!

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”   Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)